Sunday, May 03, 2009

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

The Raffles Hotel in Singapore is a site with a rich history, and it still houses lots of excellent activities and facilities today. It is easy for those of us living in Singapore to forget how great a building the Raffles Hotel. I know that for me, I have only recently been reminded when I was showing off the hotel for a friend on a temporary stay in Singapore. Here are some of the great things at the Raffles Hotel:

1. Jubilee Hall is a Victorian-style theatre that commemorates the old Jubilee Theatre that stood on the site before the hotel was renovated into its present state. The facilities are excellent (I know from having helped put on an event there), and the atmosphere in the theatre really brings a past era back to life. I recently saw TNT Britain's staging of Romeo and Juliet there, and was reminded of just how great a place Jubilee Hall is.

2. The Long Bar is the site where the Singapore Sling was created way back in 1915. The Long Bar still looks like an old club from colonial days. It is fun to stop in and have a look at this place where so many famous people have sat and done their meeting, socializing, and perhaps even writing. And of course, the site where the last tiger in Singapore was captured is something everyone should see!

3. The illustrious guest list.... it really is amazing! Writers such as Noel Coward, Joseph Conrad, and Somerset Maugham have long been associated with the Raffles Hotel.

4. And of course, there are lots of nice places to eat and shop in the Raffles Hotel. The ice cream from the Raffles Creamery (under management of Seah Street Deli) is really good, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable for ice cream of that quality.

It is easy to forget how great the things you see day in and day out are. I don't know how many times I've walked past, or even right through, Raffles Hotel without giving a second thought to it. It is kind of fun to get to show it to a friend and see it with her fresh eyes. It helps me to appreciate it all over again.

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